Tuesday, October 16, 2012

From the wisdom of my grandmother and mom...

After all this time, I am just now seeing the necessity of having a weekly schedule for doing laundry. Could it be that I am up to my eyeballs in laundry every week due to having 3 children now? Why has it taken me this long? I remember my  grandma and my mom ALWAYS did sheets on Mondays and most likely or did have each other day scheduled or at least had the laundry always going. As the Flylady has shown me, that doing one load a day keeps the chaos away. I wholeheartedly agree with that! Start your routine everyday with at least one load of laundry going and try to get that one load done in the day. Don't leave it until tomorrow. Don't let it roll around in your dryer for days. Don't sit it in a basket and let it stand for days without putting it away. If you do your laundry, one complete load a day from start to finish, you will be able to keep up with your laundry. Believe me, it will help you in the end. This is how I am and do plan on doing my laundry every week. I am human and most of the time I let my laundry sit in a basket for days without putting it away, but my goal is to make sure that I take a few minutes to put it away and get those baskets off the floor (one more piece of clutter that is not needed!) Your house will feel more organized and orderly if you do just this one load of laundry a day. Here is my schedule and feel free to fill in laundry needs when you feel necessary. Have a blessed one!

Friday, October 12, 2012


As my blog lays dormant now for months, I am attempting to get back into writing. As you may know or not, I just had a baby 6 weeks ago. He is growing so much so quickly and reminding me how quickly the look of newborn fades from your baby's face and they start growing into a not-so-new baby look. My two year old is enjoying life at home while his sister, our 5 year old is officially in Kindergarten a full day and week of school this year. My days are definitely scheduled by the clock of drop off and pick up of our daughter at school. I cannot believe we are already at this stage of life and with homework every night too. Yesterday for example, I was taking photos of my 6 week bundle and my older boy popped up to be in the photo too. I have countless photos of him when he was a baby with my girl there popped up in the photo. She should still be that small. But alas, time took over again. So here are a few photos of what we've been up to over the last few months:

 The arrival of our sweet number 3, baby boy weighing in
at 8 lbs. 3.6 oz, 20.5 inches long. 
 Happy First Day of Kindergarten! I jumped on the Pinterest
bandwagon of making these great signs, now I won't have to
look up the first day of school date on my properties of my photo,
it's right here in the photo for me!! Great for adding to a new
Shutterfly book, eh?
 Photo courtesy of Stacey Bazzle, my very sweet and talented
friend! We are all looking the same direction and smiling! Wonderful!
These beat hospital photos any day! Thanks Stacey! 
 Love his baby feet with our rings! Thanks Stacey!
 A sweet sibling photo from Stacey! Thank you! 
 Mr. 1 month old! Have you ordered this awesome stickers from Etsy.com?
I ordered mine and printed them off on sticker paper and cut them out myself and 
the purchase from Etsy.com was only $5.00, there was no shippping because it's a pdf file 
and they email it to you! I am sure I could make these myself and  sell them, but I love
these airplanes! So cute! And these are the cutest two boys in the world!
 Fall festival! He LOVED the bouncy house!
 Hammering tees into pumpkins, genius!
 Ring toss a pumpkin, you get a ring pop, awesome!
 Painting a pumpkin, rainbow, of course! That's my girl!
 Found out one year makes a difference in a young soccer players
life. She is now a good "runner" and stays with the ball, she has even
made one goal for the team this year! Her Daddy is a very proud coach!
Sweet photo of my favorite older two! Next year we'll fill out
all 3 holes of this pumpkin truck! 
Happy Fall!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

air conditioners, holes in the walls and dryers, O my!

Note before you read, I wish I could write or rather tell a story as a comedian. It's not my gift! But please know that I am giggling about all these events, and I am seeing in them all that God is teaching me to depend on Him through finances and homeownership! I pray that you will learn that too, through our experiences!

I am officially 36 almost 37 weeks pregnant and I have officially flipped out! Aren't we supposed to do that as pregnant women? It wasn't until last week that I had my moment of brief insanity, but I have realized that in all things God does have a purpose and He will provide. Beginning in March of this year, we had an unbelievably warm March, for two weeks it was in the 80's or 90's. We were outside playing without winter coats, it was hard to believe for March in Ohio. We had planned on getting some of our roof done this year, so we put away some money for a partial roof replacement and hired a contractor to handle it. He did a great job! He's our neighbor and we are so thankful for his hard work! However, after he tore our roof off, he found rotted wood, more than he planned so the roof cost was a little higher than planned, but God provided. We are thankful to have a repair on our roof, and actually God provided before. Our neighbor could not believe that we hadn't had leakage in our home before this year, as it was a terrible mess under that roof.
Air Conditioning:
Since we are having number 3 in a few weeks, we had to make a decision on a roomier vehicle. We found an awesome buyer, my husband's cousin for my current car and sold it in May and then purchased a Mini-van! We were so excited to have this new-to-us vehicle!! The kids love it and so do I! I love all the room and how easy it is for them to step up in it and how the doors open for you! Wow! We are so thankful! At the end of June of this year, we had a terrible frightening storm, which made our power go out. Well, let me back up a bit...our power, amazingly did not go out! The power company came by and unclipped our power from being plugged in, so that when they start up other power lines again there won't be more and more blackouts/brownouts, so I had been told. I know we were not out as long as many others, but our power was out for 5 days. Again, let me reiterate, I am pregnant and in the 3rd trimester, so I am swelling and hot...I need air. Not only was I in need of a cool down, but my 5 year old girl had a temperature and needed to cool down as well. Well let me back up again, earlier that week, we had realized our air conditioner had gone out in our van. So I thought the best thing was to drive to my wonderful parents home, 2 hours away. I packed up the kids we drove to my parents, without air for 2 hours in the middle of the afternoon on one of the hottest days of the year! We made it and we cooled off!

We went home and our dealership where we bought our vehicle loaned us another van (God provided--we were so thankful to not have to worry about paying to rent a vehicle), and fixed our air conditioner for us (we had to pay for the parts-God amazingly provided again!)! We now had cool air in one capacity of life. And my awesome other set of parents, my sweet in-laws, provided a cool home for us to stay in while our home was still without power.

After the power came back on and our house was up and running again, after a few days or weeks (I am not sure everything is a complete blur) our air went out at home. We didn't realize that you should have those things serviced every other year or so. A big OOPS on our part! But again, God provided! Our technician came by and said it sounded like the whole unit would need to be replaced. However, as he walked up on it, he saw the problem right away, serviced the unit and fixed the problem. The price was minimal compared to a new unit! God provided! And we are now very cool in all areas of our lives and I especially am so thankful!!
We have had a consistent dripping in both of our bathroom showers. Nothing too terrible at the beginning but as the summer has gone on we have realized how much water we were actually loosing. Upon receiving a letter from the water department, asking if we possibly had a leak, my husband's brother tried to help us fix it but it was beyond his expertise. So he passed along a name of a friend to help us! The guy came and he did excellent work! The only thing that was hard to watch was that he had to cut a huge hole in the upstairs linen closet to work on that shower and a huge hole in the hallway downstairs (for all the world to see) to reach the plumbing. It was hard to watch at that moment as he cut into the drywall right here from the living room, but then again, I realized that our plumbing was going to be fixed. A wall can be patched up and God provided the right person to fix it and help to keep our home running without consistent faucet leaking!
New Camera:
For over a year, I have been researching cameras. I have asked friends who take more professional photos, what is a good camera or company to buy from. I have a good camera, but I was consistently changing batteries (AA) and I wanted a better camera battery that would last. I also would try to steal a cute photo of my kids and the camera would say "processing." I am an amateur, and do not feel like a DSLR is for me, because grant it, I don't know what I am doing with all the lenses. However, I wanted something that was a step down from that. Still a point and shoot type camera, but has great quality, a better battery life and I can click onto the next photo rapidly. I found the perfect camera, the Nikon Coolpix P500. I saved my money all year. I am a stay-at-home Mama, but I was selling tiles that I created as coasters, trivets and decoration at a little shop in West Liberty. I sold a few from that and saved that money. I also made cake pops for some friends  and saved the money I made from those jobs for my camera fund. I asked for money for my birthday and Christmas and saved, saved, saved! After finding out that the 500 took AA batteries, I opted to go up to the 510 camera. I got my money together and went to Walmart and bought it! I love it! It's just what I had wanted. However, all of the sudden my computer has no longer recognized my camera when I plug it in, my USB cord does not work to download my photos onto my new program, but thankfully it does work to charge the camera! (God provided that at least). Today I tried to take it back to Walmart for an even exchange, only I came to find out that they do not allow returns or exchanges of electronics after 15 days! I have now called Nikon 4 times to get help and still I am without a properly working camera! I know I can take my SD card out and download my photos, so I am thankful so much for that. It has been suggested that I will have to send my camera back to the company, but again we are at T-minus 2 weeks and 3 days until this baby is coming (if not before) and I was hoping to have our awesome new camera for photo opportunities in the hospital. Despite all of that, God will provide.
Today I realized our dryer is not working. The heat is not turning on. So my whites have been rolling around for two days in the dryer without getting completely dry, they are still damp. Tomorrow, we are getting family photos done and my clothes are currently wet in the washer! And I haven't even picked out the kids or Kyle's clothes yet! So we are going to go at lunch time, when Kyle is off tomorrow to pick out a new dryer! Usually this gets me so excited to buy a new appliance, but right now, I just want something to work! Anything! Thankfully God has provided and we will be able to pay for our new dryer.

How do you even begin to plan for a summer like this? I know we did not have this money in our savings, but God provided each and every time for us to pay in full for each of these hiccups. We only thought we were getting a roof on...but as my Dad always says, "Welcome to homeownership!" And it's so very true! I am just learning that through these hard times, we have had to lean on our Lord for our strength and for our finances. He has provided and will continue to, I know it!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What do I take to the hospital?

I remember the first time I went to the hospital to have our little girl in 2007. I remember we had our focal point, the baby's ultrasound photo in a frame, music to listen to, a back massager, and the list goes on. My bag was full of things that I thought I would need. When I got there and was induced, all I wanted was ice chips or those amazing heating pads/towels and the heat up or the air on. I never once pulled out my focal point, listened to music or even watched t.v. I focused on my breathing and was pretty quiet. When it came to pushing, I pushed with all my might but my daughter's head was stuck and her heart rate went down every time I pushed. So I was on my way to the OR to have a c-section.
With my 2nd child, you would think I would be more prepared, seeing that since I had one c-section, I was going to have another, since our small-town hospital doesn't do v-backs. It was the day before my scheduled  c-section and my daughter and I were in a car accident. We were both just fine, but totally unnoticed by me, I was starting into labor. I wasn't even going to call my doctor, because I had a million things to do: my daughter's laundry was all in the washer and dryer, I had to return a car seat at the store and get one that was right for my almost 3 year old girl, I wanted to get adjusted one more time (my husband is a chiropractor and I like being adjusted every week, especially knowing that I'll be lying on a bed for a few days before I can walk after my c-section). Well, I ended up calling my doctor and was ordered to the hospital immediately. After I got there I found out I'd be there for the next 4 hours being monitored and also found out I was having contractions every 3 minutes. I did not have a bag with me, no cameras to capture the first moments of our little guy's life, no underware or change of clothing for when we go home or pajamas. I was an emotional mess, I was not ready, but I had to be ready to deliver this baby whether I was ready or not. My sweet husband ran home and got the cameras, baby book for the footprints, etc.
Now we are onto our third little blessing that will be born here at the end of August, we think. I have found everything is in God's timing and there is only so much preparation you can do, but there are things that you need in the hospital that every mother needs to take with them. With our first blessing, I didn't know what I would need and wasn't prepared, with the second blessing, I was not ready to go, so with blessing number 3 I am going to try to at least have the essentials in a bag and ready and the rest my sweet husband will have to help with.
I have found a few good lists on Pinterest that will get you started, like here from Lay Baby Lay and think their idea of actually getting some of these items for a Mama-to-be is an excellent idea!! I have included my list below of what I need. Keep in mind I am also a cash patient, so I have to bring a lot more than what a "regular" patient who is on insurance has to bring (i.e. I have to supply my own extra strength tylenol, pads, newborn diapers).
Here is my list of the things I think I will need, I am sure there are lots of things I may have forgotten. Everyone is different and these are the things I know I will need for the hospital stay for 3 days.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

True Woman | I'm Not Reading "Fifty Shades of Grey"

There is nothing that bothers me more, or I guess my biggest pet peeve (which makes me want to go back to my Senior Year in High School and rewrite and re-present my pet peeve speech) would be being completely blind-sighted by a book, film, t.v. show or other media. What I mean by this is, for example watching the trailers for an upcoming movie that looks great, nothing questionable in the trailers as far as sexual promiscuity. And then actually paying to go see the movie and then being embarrassed because I went to such movie, covering my eyes and/or leaving. That really annoys me! I specifically remember being on a date in college my junior year with a Christian guy who was planning on being a Doctor of Neurology, and he took me to see a movie about Neurology. However, as the movie began it should have been rated X, not R, for it was certainly more of a porn film. I was embarrassed because I was in there, because I was a Christian and at this particular movie and I wasn't even watching the movie. I spent the entire time starring at my popcorn. At about half way through, I couldn't take it anymore and told him "I can't take this anymore, and we shouldn't even be here". He offered to leave and take me home and I was so grateful. There have been other movies, shows, books that I have watched or read that I wish I had never had those images in my mind. For example, for as long as I can remember I have had terrible dreams, not every night, but often enough that my nights before I would go to sleep would be preoccupied by fear of what was to come in my dreams. I finally realized I had to stop watching CSI, and there is nothing wrong with that show, though it was causing me not to depend on God and be dependent on fear. God doesn't want that for me or for you. I remember sitting up many nights and praying over and over Psalm 3:5: "I lie down and sleep: I wake again because the Lord sustains me." Finally, God has given me relief in my life and dream sleep from scary dreams! I still have them, but I normally don't start crying in the middle of my sleep anymore because I rely on this great promise that I can lie down to sleep and God will sustain me! What a great promise from a great God!
So this leads me to a verse in Colossians 3:2-3 that states, "Set your mind on things above, not on things that are on the earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." As I have grown in my faith in God and my dependence on Christ, I have come to realize that I do not want to waste my time on reading  or watching things that do not honor God or creep into my mind of images that are not things from above. I don't read too many books outside of the Christian sector, basically because I don't have time but also because I don't want nooks and crannies of my mind filled with dishonorable things. I don't like surprises of this fashion, by means of starting into a book or movie and finding out I should have never picked up this book or movie. I am taking a stand for myself, my heart, my mind, my love for my husband, my love for God and my children to stay away from these types of things. I am including this blog post from the True Woman blog for you to read at your own discretion. Our church has participated in the True Woman conference for years and last year, we even hosted one at our church! I learned so much from these women and from the awesome book Feminine Appeal that I have found that my time needs to be spent reading God's Word, and studying it. I think books can be read for pleasure reading but I can still find a lot of things that I can read that do not have to be like these books that are based completely on sexuality. I will also not be reading "Fifty Shades of Grey" nor will I go see the movie when it comes out. 
I am so thankful for this blog post on True Woman, thank you to Amy Moon for posting this on her wall on Facebook and thank you most of all to God for His continuous protection of my mind, and my heart! 
True Woman | I'm Not Reading "Fifty Shades of Grey"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Canning Season Has Begun!

A huge shout out to Wenger's Produce (especially Kara and Scott Wenger) for this post! I just spent the last 3 hours making freezer jam, strawberry freezer jam that is, and now I can say, canning season is underway. With my 5 year old gal participating in Safety Town two weeks ago, VBS at our church a week ago and last week getting caught up on life, I missed strawberry season. Strawberry season has come and gone so quickly this year, I am realizing canning season maybe a little earlier since we had such a mild winter. Since we are expecting number 3 in August, picking strawberries already makes me nauseous just thinking about it. My husband, my 2 year old little Mr. and I went on a gator ride down to the produce farm and ran into the farmers, who thought they may have one day of picking left. They so graciously picked a couple buckets of strawberries for us on Saturday. They were very ripe, but just perfect for jam, and if I would have had extra I would have made a strawberry pie, but no extra this year! I bought 3 boxes of Certa Sure-jell, 2 extra bags of sugar (I already had one). I cleaned my jars and got set to can.

For a recipe of Strawberry Jam (which I think I have on another post):
2 cups of strawberries crushed (I put them in my food processor and pulsed)
4 cups of sugar
Add the sugar to the strawberries and stir until the sugar is dissolved

Wait 10 minutes, and within those 10 minutes stir your strawberries occasionally. In another bowl put in one packet of Certa Sure-jell Pectin and 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice (I didn't have fresh lemons and used the bottled lemon juice I have on hand).

After the 10 minutes is up, stir in your Pectin mixture and stir together for 3 minutes. Add your mixture to your *favorite jars and freeze until ready to use.

I made 6 batches of strawberry jam, using 6 packets of Certa Sure-Jell or 3 boxes (there are two in each box). My two buckets of strawberries yielded exactly this amount. I mostly use small jars that I keep from pickles to caramel sauce, etc. I used 28 jars and filled them all! Each recipe allows 4 cups of strawberry jam, which would be the small half pint jars. I used about 2 and a half 5 pound bags of sugar for all 6 recipes.

Speaking of *favorite jars, I ran across some old glass JIF peanut butter ones that my grandparents used every year to make grape jelly in. A couple even still had their stickers on them with the date. One fell off as I was washing and it said GRAPE 1988 in my grandmother's handwriting! Made me miss her all the more today as I know she was the original person who taught me the value of canning and saving your food for the year ahead. I miss her!

Well go out there and get to canning friends!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I look around my home and everywhere I turn there is another sweet note, another sweet reminder that there is a little girl who loves that lives here. I LOVE MOM or I LOVE DAD is constantly written on notes and cards that are made from her enduring little hands. Beautiful fields of flowers drawn and landscaped on a paper. When I was sick a lot from this pregnancy with number three, I would awake to find a picture laid next to me of a butterfly or her and I walking together. She's only five, and her drawings are from a hand of a five year old, but to me they are but beautiful art from the hand of my child. I never worry about the use of computer paper, for to her she is coloring a masterpiece for me or her Daddy. Every picture maybe the same concept and the same color scheme, but to me they are priceless words and pictures written precisely for me. Such a beautiful display of love for another to write out your heart on a piece of white paper. But that is my girl, she loves by writing and drawing and giving. I am so thankful that I many times a day am the receiver of these sweet notes. I pray they will always continue.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Here's a teacher talking...

Being the teacher that I once was, but now continue to be in our home, summer reading is high on the agenda for summer at our house. Since our little one will be graduating K-4 tomorrow night, I am on high alert and looking for book lists of ideas to read before Kindergarten. Again, why not start at Pinterest? I found this great booklist, 100 books to read before Kindergarten from the Woodbridge Public Library in New Jersey. (http://www.woodbridge.lib.nj.us/100books.htm) The list features several sublists, for example: classic stories like The Snowy Day, one of my all time favorite story books or Corduroy, another book I remember reading with my Mom. Reading is just so important, the vocabulary boost that every child can receive just from reading simple picture books is remarkable. In one instance, my girl asked, what's dashing mean? I was able to help her figure it out by using surrounding details of the story, we talked about what handsome means and how well the man was dressed in the photo and helped her get an understanding of the word dashing.
My girl and I are making a list of all the books we are reading this summer, with the name of the book, author and date. I love lists, as you can tell and she loves getting her reading list filled in. I think we are going to do a little prize for reading 25 or 50 or 100 books, etc.
My favorite discovery so far is that there are Little House books for kids! I couldn't wait until our girl was older and start reading books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and low and behold, they have those but in a picture book form. This week we read one about the County Fair, which our daughter is going to be doing some County Fair events this summer and she got all excited about thinking about the Logan County Fair in July. I get just as excited as she does when I bring a bag home full of books we haven't read yet, even my two year old son gets excited to look at the pictures. Some will not hold his attention as long, but even just listening for awhile is so great for him.
For parents of younger children, I know I get so tired of reading the same story over and over, and it wasn't until our girl was older that I discovered at our library they even have a board book section. I would just invite you to go check out your neighborhood library. Dust off your library card or get a new one and check out books. On the agenda for summer at our house, spending as much time outside playing and reading!! I hope you and your children do the same thing!

Monday, April 16, 2012


After a year +  of couponing, I have called it quits. Not that I would ever turn down a coupon or enjoy getting an item free, but I have found for our budget, I am going back to my old ways of grocery shopping and saving myself money and time. Each week, while couponing, I was running down to West Liberty to grab my 5 papers for 75 cents each. I'd pour through the coupons, organize them, run through the ads and find where I'd do the best at. I have found that stockpiling for me, just didn't work for our budget. I fear I ended up spending more money to receive the deal rather than saving my family money. Not only was I driving to another town to pick up my papers each week, but I was going to Wal-Mart, Kroger, CVS and Walgreens. There were times I'd drive the 45 minutes to the nearest Target just to get a deal on diapers. I probably used up the money I saved on gas to get me to each place. When I started couponing the purpose for me was doing better on diapers and wipes for my baby. I think I fared better on that and should have stuck to my guns on this idea. What I would recommend, would be to shop at ALDI. I love ALDI. They have excellent selection of produce and items. My brother-in-law used to work for ALDI and he always has said that the products are the same from ALDI as the name brand items, they are just labeled as ALDI brand. We love their chips for our lunches, the produce, I love that today I got a gallon of milk for $1.99 rather than paying over $3.50. (How often do you find a coupon for milk, and when you do, you also have to buy Oreos or Chips Ahoy, which I love, but don't need!) When there are other items we need, then we go to Wal-Mart, because they have the lowest prices. I have taken advantage of Wal-Mart's price matching, which is awesome. I would recommend taking your ads with you and they will price match to the ad. This does take some organization and you must go to a line with a representative and not the self-check out lines. I have gotten great deals price matching and using coupons and even without using coupons. I know this post would probably make every coupon blogger annoyed, but for us, we are saving more money by doing what we've always done than adding more trips to here or there and more temptations to buy those items with coupons. My goal is to do most of my shopping on the outer circle of the store, rather than all the aisles in the middle. On the outer circle of the store are your produce, dairy, meat, etc. Mostly everything else is processed foods and we don't need those in our diets, we definitely eat enough!

Please don't be offended if you are an amazing couponer and fabulous at getting deals! I always loved checking my receipt at the end and seeing all that I saved! I would get a thrill out of doing this, but as I look back on our year last year, I see all that I really did spend (especially when we were taking a financial class at our church) and realized I was spending more than our budget allowed just to get good deals and to stockpile. So the only choice was to cut the spending and minimize my trips. This has helped our budget, my time can be given in more areas, especially around our home and with our kids and we can use the extra money on things we need.

I am turning my scissors over to the other coupon divas and going back to what I know. I am still looking for deals and will use coupons when I come across them, especially on diapers and wipes. But my time is over and I will allow those who can to coupon and for me, I will save money on our budget!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Birthday Ideas

I am loving the ideas on Pinterest! I am sure many of you out there have found fun ideas. I love inexpensive ideas for kids birthday parties or anything really that's Kids Worthy. It has been really helpful to search on there for ideas and then if I can't find what I am looking for, I can search the internet and pin it to my wall. So I don't go through the wondering where that website was or checking my history for hints of my search. It's so great! For my girl's 5th birthday she wanted a Rapunzel Themed birthday, so we decided to go with this super cute idea I saw on Pinterest:
Our invitations looked nearly the same, but I found a stamp paper punch that was smaller and $7.00 cheaper than the Martha Stewart one. And since I am not an avid scrapbooker I thought I had better buy the cheaper one. What you'll need to make these invitations: 
Purple cardstock
Golden Yellow embroidery thread (I ran out of this and since we only have Wal-Mart close I used a golden yellow color of thread for crocheting--and that worked wonderfully)
Thin purple ribbon
Stamp or window-like paper punch

Here is the end result:

This is the outside of her envelope. She decorated it with Rapunzel (this is Rapunzel when her hair is cut at the end, but the rest had long blonde hair). She wrote Kari 5 on it and then we attached these super cute "Please Deliver to..." yellow attachments from the above website.
She was really pleased by the end result.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Anywhere He Leads Me

One of my favorite people of history would definitely have to be Corrie Ten Boom. Do you know her? Have you read any of her books? I remember seeing the movie "The Hiding Place," as a child and remember being swept away at what amazing things that anyone can do if they have God on their side. She, her sister and father hid many Jewish people in their home during the Holocaust, right inside Corrie's closet. All three of them were sent to concentration camps and only Corrie survived. She survived and even went back to many of these concentration camps proclaiming God's Word. Talk about making beauty out of ashes! When I was in seventh grade, we were required in English class to do a report about a famous historian. I chose her, to the dismay of my English teacher. He said it could not be done, there was not enough material on her life, and it was a waste of time. However, with the encouragement of my parents, I found a lot of information on her and I was able to share about Christ to my class, through her life story. I was nervous, but thankful that God put it on my heart to share her life, a life focused on Jesus and serving Him to my class. She and her family were always a reminder to me during so many hard times in my life that God can use you, no matter what circumstance He puts you in. He has a purpose! The Ten Booms saved many people from concentration camps, praise God, though they had to endure it themselves. Since they were there, they were able to share the gospel with the women they met and I am sure God used them as the voice to change the hearts of many.
One of my favorite devotional books is by Corrie Ten Boom called, "Anywhere He leads Me." http://www.alibris.com/booksearch.detail?invid=11115776693&browse=1&qwork=365432&qsort=&page=1
It's a super easy read, just a few verses and then excerpts from her books that appropriately go with the verses. The one I read yesterday was from the verses of Psalm 119:92-106, which is one of my favorite parts of Psalm 119. Here are the verses:

If your law had not been delight,
I would have have perished in my misery.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life.
I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.
The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
but I consider your decrees.
I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment is exceedingly broad.
Oh, How I love your law!
It is my mediation all day long.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is always with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your decrees are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
for I keep your precepts.
I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
I do not turn away from your ordinances,
for you have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to observe your righteous ordinances.
Psalm 119:92-106, NRSV

She goes on to talk about how she was back into Aufseherinnen, a concentration camp for women and there were women guards from the camp Ravensbruck, where she had been imprisoned. She was trying to teach these women about real freedom through Christ, but they looked at her speaking as "simple," for they were highly educated and "more profound in their theology" (pg. 21). She prayed about what to talk to them about and God laid on her heart "Chocolate." She happened to have some chocolate with her, and it was non-existent in Germany at that time. No one could get it, especially at a concentration camp. This is an excerpt from what happened next:
        "The next day I set out for camp full of new courage. There they were, sitting once more in front of me, resistance and distaste on every somber face. But I said, "This is my last visit with you, and so I brought you a little treat--chocolate." How those faces lit up! What a luxury a piece of chocolate was to those poor prisoners! All at once we were friends. Some of them even asked me to write my name and address in their Bibles. When I began to speak, I said, "No one has said anything to me about the chocolate. No one asked whether it had been manufactured in Holland or what quantities it contained of cocoa, sugar, milk or vitamins. You have done exactly what I intended you to do: you have eaten and enjoyed it." Then I took up my Bible and said, "It is just the same with this Book. If I read about the Bible in a scientific, theological or scholarly way it does not make me happy. But if I read that 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life' (John 3:16, KJV), then I am really happy. God's Spirit was working. Barriers fell away and understanding and longing were born in the eyes before me, a hunger to hear more of that love that passes all understanding" (Ten Boom, page 22).

How could I paraphrase all of that, you would never see the impact like she had written! I pray I may be more like that, to read the Word of God and enjoy it, daily! I love the words above from Psalm 119 as a reminder of what God has done in my life and how He has kept me from paths that were destructible and kept me on His path. Praise Him for that!

I pray today that you are encouraged by this post and by the life of Corrie Ten Boom and her service to the Lord. What a blessing to share this with you today.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One turns to Two

Never be one again...

No, you'll never be one again
The twos are tumbling on in
Daddy's little (boy) is growing up in the world
You'll never be one again.


Last month we celebrated our little guy's 2nd birthday! It was a great day, his grandparents, cousin, uncles, great grandparents were able to attend (we missed everyone who could not be there), but the day was so great! I found the perfect cake that I wanted to make for him, it was a number 2 shape that looked like a train track. I found the idea on Pinterest. Sometimes I just need to find the idea and go with it. I have never actually cut a cake to shape it, but with the help of my husband and his mad cutting skills, we made a perfectly shaped number 2. Next time, I will use a crumb coating before adding my buttercream icing on top. I used my Mom's royal icing recipe to make the white track. I think it turned out wonderfully. If I show my kids the cake and they recognize what it is, then I feel like my job is done well! Here's how the cake turned out!